Whatever you thought of the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday night – and there really were plenty of high and low moments – there was at least something for the petrolheads out there.
From the moment vehicles started appearing in the Olympic park, wrapped in newspaper clippings, car spotters everywhere started to catch a glimpse of the interesting metal on display.
It wasnt all BMWs either, though the manufacturers involvement in the London 2012 games has been fairly hard to miss – everything from liveried 3- and 5-Series to motorcycles, with MINIs and electric vehicles also doing their part.
There were London black cabs everywhere too, four of which later lit up with LED displays, and deposited the Spice Girls on centre stage. Most were the current TX4 model, inspired by the old Austin FX4 cabs and built by the London Taxi Company.
Even more British than the black cabs (despite their BMW parentage), were the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II Drophead Coups that circled the stadium.
Three were on display, but a fact that might have gone unnoticed is that they were an Olympic Special Edition, featuring English White paint and different badging. For the first time, the traditional R-R badges made way for the Spirit of Ecstasy wrapped in a Union Flag, with the words London 2012 replacing Rolls-Royce. The three cars ferried singers Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz to their slots in the ceremony.
The brand-new BMWs (an X3, X5 and 1-Series convertible also sneaked in), MINIs and Rolls-Royce werent the only BMW products on display. Curiously, an old BMW E36 3-Series convertible also made an appearance on stage.
Convertibles were quite popular, so its a stroke of luck that the weather held off for the ceremony. Traditional British sports cars like the MG TC, MGA, MGB – both chrome and rubber bumper models, and both coup and convertibles – and an Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite, and Austin-Healey 3000.
During an Only Fools and Horses sketch, the Trotters yellow Reliant Regal van also showed its face, and if you were sick of all the BMW Minis, a white classic Mini with a Union Jack on the roof could be briefly seen. Another white vehicle on display was a Ford Corsair convertible, no doubt replete with its unusual V4 engine.
Fans of newer British machinery will have also noticed a bright yellow Lotus Elise S2, and an MGF also lurked in the corner of a few shots.
There were classics from other countries too, including a light blue Volkswagen Type 2 Bay window, commonly referred to as the VW bus or camper van.
There was good product placement for Alfa Romeo with a MiTo also circling the roads, and a Mercedes-Benz SLK was also fairly visible, with its SLR-like nose. Even a Citroen Berlingo van appeared in a few shots.
Finally, before the cars all pulled off the stage during the sunset act of the performance, one final British sports car could be seen by those with a keen eye – a silver TVR Tuscan. Its straight six engine might have been drowned out by the singing, but we expect it drew a few glances from the Olympic crowds.
Theres one thing for sure – in petrolhead terms, Brazils opening ceremony in four years will have a lot to live up to!
Did you spot anything we didnt? Leave us a comment below!